Southeast Florida Roundup
Family matters: The Corrigan family's 9,000-acre tract in Indian River County
Development may be coming to a 9,000-acre site on I-95.
Some 65 years ago, the Corrigan family of Midland, Texas, acquired four large tracts of land in Florida and settled in as ranchers.
One beach tract, the family homestead, lent its name to a Mel Fisher treasure find, the Corrigan wreck. It later was sold to a developer. Another totaled about 3,000 areas at the mouth of the Crystal River. A third was a ranch in southern Brevard. Those two were sold in the 1990s to become conservation lands, including the Sebastian River Preserve.
The family held onto the fourth, their prize 9,000-acre cattle ranch near the junction of I-95 and State Road 60 in Indian River County. The family patriarch, Pat, lives there. Cousins Tad, Dan and Bryan Corrigan all are active in the family business. A private tunnel under the interstate is used to drive cattle. It’s the largest contiguous undeveloped tract on I-95 in Florida.
How long it will stay undeveloped is something of a question. The family has had the ranch annexed into Fellsmere and secured approvals to one day develop part of it. “We just didn’t want our past to limit our future,” Bryan Corrigan says.
As part of the annexation, the family agreed to keep half the land as green space in conservation or agriculture. The other half can hold up to 12 million square feet of commercial space and 14,000 homes, though how much eventually gets built won’t be decided for a long while. The family doesn’t have the land on the market but does expect some day to either sell it or partner with a developer. “We’re not developers. We never have been,” Corrigan says. “There will always be cattle on the ranch. We’re cattlemen.”
Indian River County planning authorities recently slated a spot where 53rd Street would cross I-95 on the ranch as the site of a future interchange.
Fort Lauderdale-based Charter Schools USA hired Sheela VanHoose as director of government affairs and public policy. She formerly was director of legislative affairs for Broward County’s public school district.
Seacoast Bank chose Russell Greene, president and CEO of Grand Bank & Trust of Florida, to be executive vice president following its merger with Grand Bank & Trust of Florida. He will be based in West Palm Beach.
RoboVault RoboVault, a one-of-a-kind storage business near the Fort Lauderdale airport, more than triples its staff for Miami area art fairs held this month. RoboVault is a towering structure built to withstand a category 5 hurricane and wind gusts of up to 200 mph. Owned by BBX Capital, it caters to those who want the “premier provider” of climate-controlled, high-security storage for art, antiques, collectibles, exotic cars, business and forensic property and wine. Its fine art services team packs, ships, transports, stores and installs art, a service much in demand this time of year in south Florida.
ATLANTIS — Sodexo, a food service and facilities management company, laid off 228 workers at JFK Medical Center in Atlantis and another 168 at Lawnwood Medical Center in Fort Pierce as it lost the contract there and at nine other facilities owned by HCA East Florida. HCA is taking the food and environmental services that Sodexo provided in-house and is encouraging laidoff Sodexo employees to apply for positions with HCA.
FORT LAUDERDALE — A Broward County cab company, BL Services, and Tallahassee cab company Capital Transportation sued the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to force it to test and approve the GPS and app technology used by Uber, Lyft and other transportation network companies as the state does for cab fare meters. > Broward College added six $10,000 bachelor degrees to its existing five programs. A federal judge barred BBX Capital Chairman and CEO Alan Levan from serving as officer and director of a publicly traded company for two years and imposed a $4.5-million fine on BBX and a $1.3-million fine on Levan following a federal jury’s decision that investors were misled about the condition of the company’s BankAtlantic real estate portfolio in 2007. Levan is appealing. He’s been chair and CEO of BBX since 1994. BB&T acquired BBX’s BankAtlantic in 2012.
FORT PIERCE — The UF/ IFAS St. Lucie County Extension’s 4-H feral hog hunt took 119 hogs, weighing an approximate total of 20,800 pounds, over a 24-hour period in September.
LAKE WORTH — Development firm Big Rock Partners broke ground on Atria at Villages of Windsor, a senior living rental project on a 22. 5-acre site at Lyons and Hypoluxo roads near Lake Worth. It will have 318 independent living, assisted living and memory care residences. Real estate investment trust Ventas provided the equity capital and will be principal owner in partnership with Big Rock.
MIRAMAR — Health care products company Univita of Florida filed for bankruptcy court liquidation and laid off 1,000 workers.
NORTH PALM BEACH — Online finance data company Bankrate paid $15 million to settle SEC accounting fraud allegations that it manipulated results to meet analysts’ expectations in 2012. Former vice president of finance Hyunjin Lerner agreed to pay $180,000 to settle charges as well. Litigation is pending against former CFO Edward DiMaria and former accounting director Matthew Gamsey.
PEMBROKE PINES — Broward College opened its academic and lab science building.
PORT ST. LUCIE — Willard Development is adding a 43,264-sq.- ft. Third phase to its medical property in St. Lucie West.
RIVIERA BEACH — Sancilio Pharmaceuticals, developer of a lipid drug delivery Technology, filed to raise $86 million in an initial public offering.
SUNRISE — AT&T is hiring 170 for call centers in Sunrise and Miami.
WELLINGTON — Aircraft cabin interior company B/E Aerospace will lay off 450 and close facilities. Former Wellington resident Joseph P. Zada, 57, living in Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich., at the time of his trial, was convicted on 15 mail fraud counts in a $50-million Ponzi scheme that stretched over 10 years. His victims included hockey player Sergei Fedorov, a former Olympic equestrian champion, firefighters and others. According to the government, Zada told investors he was investing for them in oil and currency but instead spent their money on mansions and a “lavish jet-set lifestyle.” He faces up to 20 years in prison on each count.
WESTON — American Express is laying off 86.
Number of selfemployed residents in south Florida counties: